Pellegrini: Top four not guaranteed

City, currently second, could find themselves in fourth by the start of Monday’s clash at Crystal Palace. Pellegrini’s side have won just four of their last 10 Premier League games, allowing Manchester United and Arsenal to close the gap.

Pellegrini said: “I think in this league you can never be sure you are going to have a Champions League place. You have six or seven teams that, from the beginning, all of them play for that position.

“At the moment, for the whole year, we have been in a position of the??Champions League. I hope that we will continue.

“Of course if we want to continue in the first position of??the table we must not drop any more points. It is easy to say but not easy to do??it.

“We just know that from now until the end of the season we will try to win all??the games and we will see if we can do it. We have to play eight finals from now??until the end.”

Pellegrini is hoping to have a fully-fit squad to choose from for the trip to Selhurst Park with Yaya Toure (Achilles) and James Milner (knee) hoping to win their races for fitness.